Africa Day Celebration on Pietermaritzburg Campus

Africa Day Celebration on Pietermaritzburg Campus
Celebrating Africa Day with pride.

When Africans gather to celebrate Africa Day the blots of colonialism and apartheid remind them of a history of oppression in which the scars left behind continue to bleed.

Acting University Relations Director Dr Sally Frost opened this year’s Africa Day event on the Pietermaritzburg campus, saying UKZN was a university of choice for students all over the continent.

Among guests on the day were representatives from the Lesotho and Mozambican embassies.

Programme director, Feruzi Ngwamba said it was a day to celebrate, honour and reflect on Africa’s history, remembering that before the continent was colonised, it had been ‘populated by indigenous people divided into different kingdoms and empires under the leadership of kings and queens.

‘When celebrating Africa day, we are honouring the strength of our heroes and heroines who fought for freedom and peace,’ said Ngwamba.

Ms Nombuso Mtshali of UKZN’s International Office said it was important to honour the day at UKZN because the University was ‘critically engaged with society and demographically representative, addressing the disadvantages, inequities, and imbalances of the past.’

Mtshali said more than 2 000 students from countries in Africa (outside South Africa) were registered at UKZN this year.

It was thus ‘imperative to foster cultural diversity and internationalisation hinged on UKZN’s goal of being a centre for African-centred globalization.’

She encouraged the University community and the public at large to celebrate cultural diversity.

Words: Nokubonga Nomasiko Jele 


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Ukuthathwa Komhlaba Kungenziwa Ngendlela Enokuthula - Ijaji u-Albie Sachs

Ukuthathwa Komhlaba Kungenziwa Ngendlela Enokuthula - Ijaji u-Albie Sachs
Ijaji uMnu Albie Sachs neDini yeSikole SezoMthetho uSolwazi Managay Reddi; abasebenzi nabafundi.

Click here for the English version

IJaji leNkantolo yoMthethosisekelo eselathatha umhlalaphansi uMnu Justice Albie Sachs uthi ukuthathwa komhlaba eNingizimu Afrika kungenziwa ngendlela enokuthula, kube nenkulumompendulwano enamandla futhi enomqondo.

USachs ubekhuluma kubasebenzi nabafundi base-UKZN kanye namalungu omphakathi ngesikhathi kuthulwa ngokusemthethweni i-Student Chapter of Amnesty International South Africa yeNyuvesi.

Lo mcimbi ubuhlelwe inhlangano ye-Durban Chapter, ibambisene neSikole Sezomthetho e-UKZN, ibibanjelwe e-Howard College Theatre yeNyuvesi.

Isihloko sesifundo besithi: Umthethosisekelo Nokubuyiselwa Komhlaba e-Ningizimu Afrika: Ukuthathwa komhlaba ngaphandle kokukhokha. USachs uthe ujabule kakhulu futhi usekhululekile ngoba isihloko sesidingidwa ePhalamende.

Uthe indlela okwenziwa ngayo akufanele ingahleleki futhi ivune abantu abazana nabantu abathile kuhulumeni, okungenzeka bangabi abalimi abaqotho. Inhloso kwakungeyona ukukhipha abantu kungene abanye abasha abazophatha.

‘Kuningi okusangenzelwa abantu abasekhona endaweni, abamhlophe nabansundu, kanti futhi inqubo yokusebenza kumele yandise umkhiqizo iphinde iqinisekise ukuphepha kokudla.’

Uthe ‘Sifuna abanikazi bomhlaba abaziqhenyayo, abantu abanomlando ngomhlaba, abalangazelayo ukukhiqiza kanti futhi abazokwazi ukusebenzisana nabanye.’

‘Kodwa ke uma kusekhona ukungalingani okucace bha esikhathini samanje, asisoze saba nesizwe esithuthukayo.’

‘Weluleke abalimi ngokuthi bahlale bexhumana nabanikazi bamafamu abasha, badlale indima yokwandisa imikhiqizo baphinde babe ingxenye yabantu abakha umnotho waseNingizimu Afrika.

Amanye amalungu abeyizithameli akhombise ukungakuthokozeli ukusebenza kancane kuka hulumeni mayelana nokubuyiselwa komhlaba kubanikazi.

USachs uthe wonke umuntu kumele azi ukubaluleka komlando owadlala indima kwenziwa u-Section 25 woMthethosisekelo wase Ningizimu Afrika nokuthi kwakuyiyiphi inhloso, umbhalo wawuthini kanye nokwazi ongakwazi ukukwenaz esikhathini samanje.

Uthe uyaziqhenya ngoMthethosisekelo waseNingizimu Afrika njengoba usudlule kokuningi.

Uma ebheka ingxoxo, uSihlalo Wekomidi Elikhulu lesikhashana i-Amnesty International South Africa le - UKZN Student Chapter, uMnu Mthobisi Gwacela, ukhulume ngezimiso zo-Ubuntu.

‘La engiphuma khona akekho umuntu okutshela noma okubonisa ukuthi yini Ubuntu, uyazibonela nje. Uma ungonile, kumele ukhombise Ubuntu.’ Uthe ukubonisa Ubuntu yikona okuyisisekelo somsebenzi wabo njenge-Chapter.

Amanye amalungu e-UKZN Chapter afaka uNkk Lindelwa Mthiyane, uMnu Ethan Chetty, uMnu Lwazi Mpulu, uNkk Princess Dludla, uMnu Themba Mncube kanye noMnu Mfundo Khanyile.

Amagama nguSithembile Shabangu


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UKZN Students Win International Architecture Award

UKZN Students Win International Architecture Award
Masters in Architecture students Mr Mthokozisi Sibisi (left) and Mr Vahin Parmananda.

Masters in Architecture students Mr Vahin Parmananda and Mr Mthokozisi Sibisi have won the prestigious 14th Annual Saint-Gobain Multicomfort house student contest held in Dubai.

The students competed against representatives from other international universities, winning the coveted title and cash prize, for their design called Solar Creek Community, which is a climate-driven approach to creating sustainable communities. 

Developed by ISOVER in close collaboration with the Dubai Municipality and Dubai Properties Group, the contest requires entrants to create a vision for a transcultural vibrant community development in the Cultural Village of Dubai.

Students had to create sustainable architecture integrated into the urban space while responding to Saint-Gobain MultiComfort criteria, taking into account the climatic conditions and regional context of the Al Jadaf site in Dubai.

‘Winning took us by surprise considering the variety of projects and the stiff competition but we’re happy that we came out on top,’ said Parmananda. ‘It was also really great exposure to be a part of this and to represent UKZN. It feels good to be the best and it validates our career choice.’

For Sibisi, it was both exciting and a memorable experience as this was his first experience of competing on an international platform. ‘It was not only a big win for us but a win for the Architecture discipline. The support we received was incredible. Family and friends are still emotional about our win.’

Architecture lecturer Ms Magda Cloete, who accompanied the students, added, ‘After seeing the 50 presentations from 30 different countries represented, I was confident we would finish in the top five.

The contextual approach to architecture and research-driven design processes provided the quality of the students’ project. These are the aspects that we as a discipline instil through all the years of the Architectural education at UKZN and it seems to set us apart not just in South Africa but in the world.’

The students were welcomed home with pomp and celebration by staff from the School of Built Environment and Development Studies.

Dean of the School Professor Ernest Khalema said: ‘They have made us proud. Winning at an international level shows excellence, dedication and hard work. They have put us on the map and serve as encouragement for other students to do well. Congratulations to the students.’

To view their winning design, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBbstF1CR3o

Words:  Melissa Mungroo 

Photographs: Melissa Mungroo and Saint-Gobain


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Visual Arts Student Exhibits Work at Jack Heath Gallery

Visual Arts Student Exhibits Work at Jack Heath Gallery
Artworks by student Ms Caroline Birch on display at the Jack Heath Gallery.

Master of Arts student Ms Caroline Birch exhibited her work at the Jack Heath Gallery in Pietermaritzburg.

Birch’s work comprises paintings, drawings and two installations in which she used innovative materials and experimental techniques, such as silk-screening onto sheets of dried wood glue. 

‘This body of artwork, together with my dissertation, constitute my submission for a Master’s degree in Fine Arts. As I chose practice-led research (PLR) as my methodology for this study, the theory and art-making practice needed to constantly interweave,’ said Birch.

The dissertation and the exhibition are together intended to offer an investigation into the effects of unknowing on her artistic practice. 

Birch’s research process led to the development of “in-the-dark” methods, such as removing all reference imagery and planning strategies from her art making.

‘Engaging with the exhibition might thus leave the viewer feeling unsure of what they are seeing. Poised is intended to induce a pause in the usual stream of assumptions we wade in when viewing an exhibition. In stepping aside from this stream to await what comes next, one might discover unknowing,’ said Birch.

‘The work offers not an explanation, but an opportunity to experience “spacious unknowing”. As unknowing appears to be a situated and spatial experience, Poised I hope offers a way of engaging with it by drawing the viewer into the space of the installations.’

Words: Melissa Mungroo 

Photograph: Caroline Birch


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The UKZN Griot Of Predators and Creditors

The UKZN Griot Of Predators and Creditors
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February saw my offering two seminars in the School of Arts on how to spot a predator. The School framed them as: ‘Understanding the issue of “Predatory Publishing” and observed that the Department of Higher Education had sent back 95 UKZN journal articles this year; post-doctoral students are not having their contracts renewed; various investigations are underway throughout the University into staff who have (fraudulently) used articles in predatory publications for promotion or PU purposes, to mention just a few issues.’ This column has dealt with this topic previously [1].

Publication was less fraught in the good old analogue days. The rules of thumb were that you:

•    submitted articles to the journals to which your university subscribed, which you read and in which your colleagues published

•   considered journals published by, or known, to your disciplinary associations

•    trusted bona fide publishers known to librarians and the scholarly communities to which you belonged

•    checked the editors and editorial boards, and checked if any were known to you, your colleagues, thesis supervisors etc.

•    Such journals did not panhandle for submissions, but issued calls for papers where appropriate.

•   In contrast, the publishers of predatory journals leverage the ‘publish or perish’ syndrome; they milk the insecurities of emergent, undiscerning and impatient academics, and what’s offered is too good to be true. Identified by forensic Librarian Jeff Beall as “predatory”, on account of their aggressive recruitment of authors, theft of intellectual copyright, and lack of peer-review, this sector eliminates barriers to learnéd publishing. Where legitimate publishers have street addresses and named officers, all that these predatory digital addresses need is a computer, a website, a bank account and gullible authors.

The legitimate publication sectors include:

•    journals published by international companies and/or disciplinary associations and indexed on WoS (now Clarivate Analytics) and Scopus, amongst others. Such journals may be owned by these publishers, but many are published in collaborative arrangements with independently owned journals

•    regional journals published by disciplinary associations or other entities, often in partnership with local and/or international publishers

•    national journals published by associations, university presses, university departments and individual collectives

•    house journals where the majority of papers emanate from a single institution.

•    All of the above now can be open or closed access, electronic and/or published in hard copy.

•    The business models may vary (page charges, article processing charges, submission fees self-supporting, subvented, etc.).

In contrast, the illegitimate sector is characterised by:

•    poorly constructed websites, error-ridden grammar, promising fast turn-around, limited information on assessment procedures, no editorial board, or a phantom or cloned list

•    issuing of overly familiar personalised multi-coloured invitations appealing to the recipient’s vanity and ego

•    use of fake metrics such as bogus journal impact factors (e.g. Global Impact Factor) and claims to being listed in indexing services that turn out to be fake themselves

•    faking location, using non-institutional Yahoo, Google or generic addresses 

•    concealing editorial structure and selling peer review reports to authors to enable them to show evidence of the process

•    including names of scholars on editorial boards that are either non-existent or deceased

•    addressing an over-broad range of topics, and generic and often misspelled journal titles and use of motivational terms (e.g., Merit, Nextgen, Advanced, Platinum); branding of bizarrely-named publishers. Recent arrivals to my inbox include ‘International Journal of Latest Research in Science Technology (IJLRST)’ and ‘Degenerative Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (DDID)’

•    lack of added value: peer review, proof reading, author contracts, libel checks, marketing and promotion, copyright protection, archive back-up etc

•    hidden publishing fees and surcharges, usually invoiced after submission

•    retraction disallowed, except on further (extortionary) payment

•    operating like retailers, offering freebees, discounts, payment plans, free memberships of phantom associations, invitations onto editorial boards, bulk buying, paying via PayPal to conceal destination of payment, totalling well over USD 1 000

•    Some predatory journals have been listed on even WoS and IBSS. This occurred because of lax assessment procedures early on. Now, predators buy legit journals indexed by these sites, or clone them, and expand from 8 to 80 articles a number. These are the journals that have been recently identified by DHET. Since they were on the IBSS list, the seemingly weak link; there is now doubt that IBSS will continue to be one of the DHET qualifying indexes. 

Academics are now examining the predatory sector more rigorously than did the pioneering Beall. Johann Mouton, for example, has taken Beall’s (often flawed) primary data, stripped it of its personalised exhortations, stratified the descriptive and judgemental data into “weak” and “strong” cases, and built the statistical methodology that was lacking in Beall’s own approach. We can thank Beall for identifying the early threats, the complicit journals and the publishers, and then his compiling of the primary (if dirty) data and then bringing this information to global attention. Mouton and Valentine, amongst others, have cleaned the data and taken the analysis through subsequent steps into a much more sophisticated way [2].

The counter-arguments for Predatory journals include:

•    They contest Western hemisphere big publisher dominance

•    They provide entry points to emergent scholars denied by the established journals

•    They accept whatever is submitted, and therefore do not engage in “censorship”, racial or gender exclusion, or other discriminatory practices such as peer-review

But is this “science”? What would be the implications? It was in these kinds of below-the-radar journals in which the AIDS denialists first published their counter-narratives as legitimate properly peer-reviewed journals sensibly declined to take them seriously. The consequences of lack of peer-review and fast tracking opportunistic medical claims can be catastrophic, as was the case in South Africa during the early 2000s.

ASSAf, the NRF, DHET and university research auditors are now acutely alert to the predators and who writes for them. DHET may have temporarily rescinded its recent prohibition, but of one thing we can be sure – the titles listed will be removed for future returns and that the whole sector is now being much more closely monitored than previously.

References

[1] Of Publishing or Perishing, http://ccms.ukzn.ac.za/files/articles/30%20april%202014%20the%20ukzn%20griot.pdf

[2] Mouton, J. and Valentine, A. 2017. The extent of SA-authored articles in predatory journals, South African Journal of Science, 113(7/8). http://www.sajs.co.za/system/tdf/publications/pdf/SAJS-113-7-8_Mouton_ResearchArticle.pdf?file=1&type=node&id=35779&force

Keyan Tomaselli is a UKZN Professor Emeritus and is Distinguished Professor at the University of Johannesburg.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the author’s own.

Words: Keyan Tomaselli 


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Under the Stars in Honour of Story Teller Gcina Mhlophe

Under the Stars in Honour of Story Teller Gcina Mhlophe
Highlights from Under the Stars at the Open Air Theatre.

First-year UKZN Drama and Performance Studies students recently showcased a production of Under the Stars at the Open Air Theatre on the Howard College campus in honour of African storyteller Dr Gcina Mhlophe, who was in the audience.

The students performed their interpretation of some of Mhlophe’s magnificent stories as part of the DRAMA101 course, which focuses on introducing students to the history of theatre and physical performance in South Africa.

Course co-ordinator and lecturer Ms Lliane Loots said: ‘The event involved more than 180 first-year students on stage in celebration of being African and saluted the magic of story-telling and the power of theatre to move and transform lives.’

Loots was humbled by the students’ commitment and dedication saying: ‘I have renewed faith in a new generation of young scholars and up and coming artists who, I think, will change the world!’

She believes that the success of the event was due to the input of Mhlophe. ‘Gcina has a rich and varied history in contemporary South African theatre and apart from her own lexicon of internationally celebrated plays, her history of acting with the likes of Barney Simon and Mayishe Maponya has cemented her into the annuals of theatre history.

‘Her gendered revision of African storytelling is now her legacy to the world. Mhlophe joined the DRAMA101 students in a series of special guest seminars during the semester where she narrated her own struggles and history as a theater maker. In honour of her visit and her inspiration, the DRAM101 course used her African Stories as the base and inspiration for Under the Stars,’ said Loots. 

After the event, Mhlophe was full of praise saying she was ‘honoured’ to have her stories re-invented in this way. She also spent time with the students while they took numerous “selfies” with her. 

Said Loots, ‘This kind of interface of practitioners and academia is a blue print of new methodologies and pedagogies around contemporary arts disciplines at universities and this course has proved the success of this.’

Words: Melissa Mungroo 

Photographs: Albert Hirasen


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UKZN Contributes to Successful NanoAfrica Conference

UKZN Contributes to Successful NanoAfrica Conference
Delegates at the NanoAfrica Conference in Salt Rock.

UKZN played an important role in the 7th NanoAfrica Conference which attracted 180 delegates from Institutions of Higher Education, government, research councils, industry, the medical sector, and various science and technology organisations. 

Representatives of organisations and institutions in Africa and other parts of the world also attended.

The conference created a forum for South Africans involved in the field of nanotechnology and nanoscience, including technologists, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers and researchers, to interact on the latest developments and future trends in the multidisciplinary field.

UKZN’s Professor Vincent Nyamori, Chairperson of the local organising committee, thanked delegates for attending. ‘We appreciate your contribution towards the success of our conference,’ said Nyamori. ‘As the hosting institution, and under the auspices of the UKZN Nanotechnology Platform, we are honoured to have your support.’

Proceedings included oral and poster presentations on a wide array of topics in nanotechnology and nanoscience. Nyamori said the standard of reporting was exceptional, and praised participants for their enthusiasm.

Topics included synthesis of advanced nanomaterials, their characterisation and novel properties, and cutting-edge applications of nanomaterials, bio-nanomaterials and composites in fields such as energy, water, health and the environment. This aligned with objectives of the National Nanotechnology Strategy, the Innovation Plan of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and the National System of Innovation (NSI), while also highlighting the development of human capital.

At the welcoming ceremony, Professor A Khumalo of the South African Nanotechnology Initiative (SANI) emphasised the role of the SANI in the conceptualisation of nanotechnology in South Africa.

Khumalo acknowledged the efforts that led to the establishment of the conference 14 years ago and congratulated organisers of this year’s prestigious event, which was supported by SANI, UKZN InQubate, UKZN, the DST, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Water Research Commission (WRC), among others.

‘The area of nanotechnology is one in which the University is heavily invested,’ said UKZN Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Albert van Jaarsveld. ‘Such conferences focus our attention on what we as a country should do to take nanotechnology forward, not only in terms of the services we offer to society but also in ensuring that we operate at the cutting-edge of science and technology.’

Organisations, including the WRC, said the event helped them to identify gaps they could help fill in relevant research. A participant from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research noted the value of the multidisciplinary nature of nanotechnology to contribute to things like materials development in South Africa.

A one-day technical workshop hosted by UKZN InQubate on the commercialisation of nanotechnology in Africa was well received, with delegates commenting that they were inspired by the experiences shared by various start-up companies who presented.

At the workshop, Dr Matthew Davies of Swansea University shared his experience of commercialising photovoltaic cells and his ongoing collaborative research with UKZN on developing renewable energy solutions for Africa.

Other speakers included representatives from the DTI, patent specialists from Adams & Adams and UKZN researchers working in the Nanotechnology Platform. The workshop also featured a panel discussion.

Said Mrs Suvina Singh, Director of UKZN InQubate: ‘The aim is to encourage researchers to not look at their research only from a scientific perspective but also from an industry needs perspective, and break down silos to get researchers to talk with industries to ensure the commercialisation of their research and inventions.’

Words: Christine Cuénod 

Photograph supplied by: Vincent Nyamori 


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UKZN Represented at Librarians Conference in Uganda

UKZN Represented at Librarians Conference in Uganda
UKZN represented at conference in Uganda.

Positioning Library and Information Services to Achieve Sustainable Development: Innovations and Partnerships was the theme of the 23rd Standing Conference of Eastern Central and Southern African Librarians (XXIII SCECSAL) held in Entebbe in Uganda.

UKZN was well represented at the conference and participated actively with staff and students involved in paper and poster presentations.

The conference attracted 213 delegates of whom 97 were foreign, representing Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, South Africa, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Italy, The Netherlands and the United States.

Conference papers and posters were presented and workshops conducted. On the last day there were three expert panel discussions on three trending topics in Library and information sciences -The Gap between Library and Information Science (LIS) Training and Practice; the Contribution of LIS to the Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs), and The Impact of the Marrakesh Treaty on Access to Information by Persons of Disabilities.

UKZN presentations included Professor Ruth Hoskins and Dr John Iwata, a former UKZN postdoctoral student, with a paper on indigenous knowledge; Dr Nsibirwa Zawedde and Mr Nqoba Msibi speaking on records management; and Professor Stephen Mutula and Mr Robert S Buwule presenting a poster on how libraries can support SMEs through research and innovation. Msibi and Buwule are graduate students of UKZN and were presenting part of their research findings with their supervisors.

This conference was also an ideal opportunity for networking, entertainment and enjoyment. On the evening of the first day, the delegates were treated to an opening dinner where delegates feasted and danced to African and local Ugandan music. On the third day, delegates were taken on excursions to different tourist attraction sites.

The Uganda Library and Information Association (ULIA) President Dr Sarah Kaddu is now the current Chair of SCECSAL having taken over from Mr John Anbu, the former President of SCECSAL and current President of the Swaziland Library Association.

SCECSAL is a bi-annual conference last hosted by Swaziland in 2016. The next conference will take place in Windhoek, Namibia, in 2020.

Words: NdabaOnline 


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A Fast Way to Health

A Fast Way to Health
Professor Kriben Pillay.

When UKZN’s Professor Kriben Pillay reached a point where he couldn’t eat or drink anything without experiencing extreme heartburn, the symptoms of which were only alleviated by taking medication that was not designed for long-term use - and which later gave him tinnitus (persistent ringing in the ears) - he knew health alarm bells were literally ringing.

Pillay checked himself into a medical centre near Pretoria that specialises in water fasting and within two days of the almost six-day fast he was off chronic hypertension medication after 12 years of use.

This dramatic turn-around was directly attributable to weight loss. By the end of his week-long stay, the heartburn symptoms also decreased significantly and he was able to eat without medication.

On his return to work he noticed that symptoms of tachycardia (a high heart rate that was masked by the hypertension medication) he had previously also started to show significant improvement.

‘As a former Dean of Teaching and Learning, I wonder how much real research and teaching is done in our medical schools on the therapeutic benefits of fasting,’ said Pillay. ‘Research shows that fasting has a huge beneficial impact on Type 2 diabetes, and there are now studies showing its reversibility, but still we are wedded to a drug paradigm because there is no money to be made by the pharmaceutic companies with the fasting modality.’

Pillay had two extensive blood tests done before and after the fast which gave him a clear picture of what needs to be addressed – such as mild renal impairment from his chronic medications – and which involves a change of diet.

‘The only obstacle to fasting for therapeutic purposes is one’s psychology,’ said Pillay. ‘If we can get past our cultural conditioning about food, fasting is quite an easy affair, and there’s nothing like feeling totally alive again without food and beverage stimulants.’

Words: NdabaOnline 


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UKZN Academic Inspires Youngsters to Love Maths!

UKZN Academic Inspires Youngsters to Love Maths!
Pupils at the youth activation programme at Durban’s Playhouse Theatre.

School of Accounting, Economics and Finance academic Dr Msizi Mkhize inspired thousands of Durban school learners to enjoy Maths during a presentation he gave at a screening at the Playhouse Theatre of Gibson Kente’s musical drama How Long?

The event was part of a programme to promote awareness of the Constitution.

The youth activation, facilitated by Brand South Africa - the official marketing agency of South Africa - in collaboration with the Playhouse, brought together primary and high school learners to promote Constitutional Awareness, and the Constitution’s protection for freedom of speech, through screening the movie.

Mkhize addressed learners in his capacity as a Brand SA Play Your Part ambassador, a position he was nominated for by College of Law and Management Studies journalist Thandiwe Jumo because of his passion for community outreach.

‘Encouraging creativity in basic education has the potential of not only improving education, but also empowering learners and teachers with a special type of thinking and generation of ideas and algorithms,’ said Mkhize. ‘Sharing innovative and creative Mathematics teaching and learning strategies is my way of giving back to the community and inspiring learners to choose maths because it will guarantee them a better future.’ said Mkhize.

Mkhize wowed the learners with examples if they use maths in their daily lives, how bible verses can be linked to maths and even how iconic Nelson Mandela’s 27 year prison sentence can be defined using Maths.

KwaMashu’s Nqabakazulu Comprehensive High School Grade 10 pupil Ms Nomcebo Mkhize said: ‘I was so inspired by Dr Mkhize’s talk especially how he explained trigonometry in such a simple way. He made me very excited about my future aspirations of becoming a Chartered Accountant.’

During interval, educators engaged with Mkhize, keen for him to visit their schools which maybe a possibility as he will be part of Play Your Part Provincial road show activations at KwaZulu-Natal high schools in July or September.

Words: Thandiwe Jumo 


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Women in Innovation and Creativity Celebrated on World IP Day

Women in Innovation and Creativity Celebrated on World IP Day
From left: Dr Carolyn Baker, Ms Tertia Beharie, Professor Annegret Stark and Ms Suvina Singh.

The brilliance, ingenuity, curiosity and courage of women who are driving change in the world and shaping the common future were celebrated at the Annual Word Intellectual Property (IP) Day event on UKZN’s Howard College campus.

World IP Day aims to highlight the role intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial design, and copyright) play to encourage innovation and creativity.

The theme of this year’s event was Power Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity. It celebrated women driving change in the world and shaping the common future.

InQubate - a division of UKZN responsible for insuring research done at UKZN is developed into solutions for society - collaborated with Spoor & Fisher Attorneys to commemorate the day.

Principal Officer at InQubate Ms Nonkululeko Shongwe described the event as very successful. ‘More than ever before, women are taking up leadership roles and making their voices heard in the science, technology, business and arts fields. This is good news. With women and men working together, we strengthen humanity’s hand and improve our ability to enrich our shared cultural wealth. This also assists in developing effective solutions to alleviate poverty, boost global health, and safeguard the environment,’ said Shongwe.

Guest speakers at this year’s event were Dean and Head of the School of Engineering, Professor Cristina Trois; Director of the South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI), Dr Carolyn Baker; Ms Tertia Beharie of Spoor & Fisher Attorneys, and Professor Annegret Stark of the Sugarcane Biorefinery Research Chair.

In her presentation, Stark reflected on her successful journey as a woman innovator in science and engineering.

Baker’s address was titled the value of Intellectual Property at SASRI: Protection in an Agricultural Industry Context, in which she highlighted the value of IP and how new cultivars of sugar could improve variety.

Beharies spoke on women who are inspiring inventors. She highlighted the following individuals:

Words: Manqoba Hadebe


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School of Education hosts 2018 Minquiz Competition

School of Education hosts 2018 Minquiz Competition
Winners of the 2018 Minquiz KZN Regional Competition with UKZN staff.

UKZN’s School of Education recently hosted the 2018 Minquiz KZN Competition - an annual national Science and Mathematics contest for Grade 12 learners, sponsored by MINTEK.

About 110 high school learners, accompanied by their teachers, attended and participated in the written and oral competition on the Edgewood campus.

The School has for the past 18 years hosted the competition which aims to encourage interest in careers in science, engineering and technology, especially in minerals and metallurgy, and also promote awareness of their importance. Teachers took part in a seminar on Careers and Science.

UKZN academic and co-ordinator of the MINTEK-KZN Quiz Professor Nadaraj Govender explained that participating learners wrote a preliminary multiple-choice question test individually, followed by competing as a school team during a live, on-stage oral quiz with UKZN science preservice teachers as quizmasters. The Science and Technology cluster staff helped with administration and marking of both quizzes.

‘Semi-finals are held in all nine provinces on the same day and the final is held in Johannesburg in July. Questions are in the areas of physical science, mathematics, and general knowledge in science, engineering and technology, and are in line with the National FET Curriculum,’ said Govender.

Winners of the regional competition were grouped into Gold or Platinum categories based on the school’s historical resources and results. Four finalists (two from each category) from the regional competition will represent KwaZulu-Natal in the national finals.

Kingsway High School matric learner Mr Shaun Schoeman was both surprised and ecstatic to be the winner of the written quiz in the Platinum category. ‘It was an unexpected win but I am glad I won and made my school proud. I went over past year papers, worked hard and gave it my best. I would advise other learners to go for it. Don’t doubt yourself. Preparation is key.’

His science teacher Mr Rajesh Sewpershad is confident that his team will do well at the finals. ‘We are going to give it our best. This regional win was a team effort and now we know to work harder to beat other competing schools. We’re bringing it home to KZN, just like last year’s winners.’

The Gold category winner of the written quiz was Yadhav Noubouth of Mountview Secondary.

Words and photograph: Melissa Mungroo 


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Inkulumompikiswano ye Conversations for Change iqhakambise ubumbano

Inkulumompikiswano ye Conversations for Change iqhakambise ubumbano
I-UKZN ibambe inkulumompikiswano ye-Conversations for Change ekhempasini i-Howard College.

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I-Mandela Rhodes Community ne-UKZN ibambe inkulomompikiswano yaminyaka yonke iConversations for Change yesi-7 ebanjwa njalo ngonyaka, ebibanjelwe ekhempasini i-Howard College, ibanjwa nje sekuphele iminyaka engama-100 uNelson Mandela azalwa, ibigxile kakhulu kuzethembiso kanye nezinkinga eziphathelene nokuzwana.

Ithimba elinamandla lamajaji belihlanganise owayeyilungu lePhalamende nosanda kuqokwa njengoMqondisi Omkhulu osanda kubekwa we-Undoing Tax Abuse (i-OUTA), UDkt Makhosi Khoza, osathola ukuqeqeshwa ongumcwaningi weziqu zobuDokotela e-Maurice Webb Race Relations Unit ese-UKZN, uMnu Lukhona Mnguni ongumhlaziyi wezepolitiki nezenhlalo, kanye noMqondisi we-Institute of Afrikology uNkk- Yaa Ashantewaa K Archer-Ngidi.

UKhoza uthe isihloko sezingxoxo zakulonyaka besibalulekile eNingizimu Afrika njengoba ekholwa ukuthi isizwe ‘siphokophele ekuzibulaleni ngokwengqondo.’

Ukuze kugcinwe umgubho we-Africa Month, uKhoza ucaphune onqondonqondo abangokuzalwa ezweni lase Afrika, abahlanganise oyisakhamuzi saseBissau-Guina nase-Cape Verde ongunjiniyela wezolimo, umthandi wezwe lakubo, nongqongqondo wezokuphathwa kwezwe u-Amilcar Cabral, ongomunye wabaholi bezwekazi lase Afrika abangahambelani nokuhlukunyezwa kwabantu bomdabu: ‘Asisafune muntu ozoxhaphaza abantu bakithi, noma ingaba abamhlophe noma abamnyama, ngoba akubona nje kuphela abamhlophe abaxhaphazanayo. Kukhona nabamnyama abahlala belindele ukuxhaphaza abanye abantu ukudlula abamhlophe. Sifuna abantu bakithi bathuthuke,’ kusho u-Cabral.

Ohlonishwa njengomuntu ongazenyezi ngokulwela amalungelo abesifazane, uKhoza ukhulume kakhulu ngokuphatha kwabesilisa kuphela, ecaphuna uCabral lapho ekhuluma khona ngeqhaza elibanjwe abesifazane ‘ekusebenzeleni abantu bakithi’.

UKhoza ugcizelele ukubaluleka ‘bokubeka abantu kuqala, ngaphambi izinjongo zepolitiki, ukuzikhathalela, nomhobholo. Uthe: ‘Kumele sikuyeke ukwenza sengathi konke kuhle e-Afrika. Kumele sibeneqiniso uma sifuna ukunqoba.’

Ubugxekile ‘ubuvila’ nakwisitatimende sakhe ebesiqonde ngqo, uthe: ‘Ngeke ibekhona intuthuko nozwano uma uHulumeni eqhubeka nokucindezela abantu abamnyama, ikakhulukazi ngokubagcina ezingeni lokuhlupheka, lokungalingani nabanye nelokungasebenzi.’

Uma sibuka inkulumompikiswano yezomhlaba okuyiyona esematheni, uMnguni uthe ukuthathwa komhlaba yinto engabukwa kusukela zingama-19 June 1913. uMnguni ubuze ukuthi ngabe kwakukhona yini ‘umbono ocacile, nesifiso kwabazombusazwe kanye nokusebenzisa amandla okubusa ukuze kuqedwe izinkinga ezibalulekile zezwe lethu.’

Uthe ‘Izinsalela zobandlululo zisekhona,’ waphinde wagxeka ukucwaswa ngokwebala ikakhulukazi ngokobulili eNingizimu Africa. ‘Amadoda azo zonke izinhlanga aluchithile uhlelo lokuguqula izinhlelo zobulili.’

U-Archer-Ngidi unikezele yonke inkulumo yakhe ku-Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, ambize njengo ‘Mandela wethu’, wagcizelela kubafundi ukuthi bafunde imibhalo ka-Kwame Nkrumah, owayengu-Mongameli waseGhana nosaziwayo ohlale ekhuthaza ushintso kwezepolitiki.

Ubuze ngenqubo yozwano eNingizimu Africa, wathi ‘emuva kweminyaka engama-350 yodlame, ngabe ziphi izikhungo zokupholisa amanxeba abangwa ubandlululo?’

Izethameli zibuze imibuzo ebalulekile mayelana nenkulumo-mpikiswano yezomhlaba, i-fourth revolution, i-Africology kanye ne-westernisation.

UMxhumanisi we-Mandela Rhodes Community e-KZN uMnu Suntosh Pillay ukhuthaze izethameli ukuthi zixoxe ngezinkinga ezithinta umphakathi. ‘izingxoxo zidlula zonke izindlela zokwenza,’ / ‘akukho okudlula izingxoxo,’ kusho uPillay. Ecaphuna isazi nesazi-mlando sase-Oxford, uTheodore Zeldin, ukhuthaze izithameli ukuthi ziqhubekele phambili ‘nezingxoxo zokuletha ushintsho’ ngokukhuluma ngesihloko okukhulunywe ngaso ku-Conversations for Change yakulonyaka.

Amagama: nguRaylene Captain-Hasthibeer

Isithombe: Albert Hirasen 


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Assessing the Impact of Ranking Systems on Universities

Assessing the Impact of Ranking Systems on Universities
Ms Tasmeera Singh, Professor Luc Beaudoin (Denver University) and Ms Normah Zondo.

The impact ranking systems have on universities around the world was discussed at a UKZN gathering which featured visiting United States academic, Professor Luc Beaudoin.

A Vice-Provost for Internationalisation and Associate Professor at the University of Denver, Beaudoin said university rankings undoubtedly had a major influence on how each institution was perceived and could be seen as an accurate reflection of an institution’s general performance and could also have an influence on enrollments.

However, the measurement system had a negative impact on some newly-established institutions working hard for international recognition and to attract students from around the world. The ability to attract international students created a positive financial flow for learning institutions, enabling them to build sustainable international relations.

Beaudoin opened the discussion on the advantages of internationalisation and the structure of how universities are ranked.

He made it clear that to be recognised internationally universities needed to do more than just publish large amounts of academic material.

Beaudoin said funding and preparing students for international experiences were important factors in encouraging strong international relations between universities.

He congratulated UKZN’s Corporate Relations Division for continuously strengthening the University’s brand through building relations with international universities, such as Denver University.

UKZN Acting Executive Director for Corporate Relations, Ms Normah Zondo said: ‘The lecture provided us with a global perspective on university rankings and how they impact on our ability to attract students across the globe. It further highlighted reputation as a major contributor on the rankings and how can the institutions differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive environment.’

Words: Nokubonga Nomasiko Jele


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